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African Festival of the Arts hosts annual gala and art exhibition

AFA presents this year’s Grand Baba and Yeye under the theme “Spirit of Africa”

Africa International House USA, Inc. (AIH) presents “The Spirit of Africa,” the 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts Gala and Art Exhibition on Friday, August 16 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Chicago. This annual event will feature all the pomp and pageantry of African culture, and honor this year’s Grand Baba, Hosea Sanders of ABC7 Chicago and Grand Yeye, Maudlyne Ihejirika of the Chicago Sun Times. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are $75 per person and $125 per couple.

The event will feature African drummers and stilt walkers and entertainment by Tracey Eileen, Melody Angel and Taylor Eman. The stars of the show will be the amazing art encompassing 30 years of the Festival from world renowned artists including Kerry James Marshall, Tunde, Dayo Laoye, Frank Frazier and sculptor and ceramist Woodrow Nash.  Additionally, the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers (CAAAP) will present a retrospective of their photography covering the African Festival over its 30 year history.

The 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts (AFA) will be held over the four-day Labor Day weekend, August 30 – September 2. At 30, the AFA is the progenitor of African inspired cultural festivals in Chicago and across the country. The theme for this special anniversary is “Spirit of Africa.”  Each year the AFA draws tens of thousands of people to its long-standing home in Washington Park. The Festival opens from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday – Monday.

During the AFA the Festival grounds come alive as Washington Park is transformed into an African village. Visitors are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich, hand-woven fabric and textiles, and other program spaces. Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-Folk Village, Children and Family Pavilion, African Heritage Pavilion, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Author & Book Pavilion, Fine Art Pavilion, Food Court, and the African Marketplace.

Tickets for these performances are included in the price of festival admission and may be purchased now beginning at $15.

Connect to the 30th Annual AFA experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #AFAChi30.

Sponsors for the 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts include AC Green, AARP Foundation, AARP Illinois, Africa International House USA, AfroZons, Aids Healthcare Foundation, Babystore, BET, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bonneville Academy Charter School, Bud Billiken Parade, CBS 2 Chicago, Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers (CAAAP), Chicago Cubs, Chicago Park District, Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago White Sox, ComEd, County Care, Disney, Ethiopian Airlines, Field Foundation, Ford Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Gift of Hope, Illinois Art Council, IlliniCare, Illinois Lottery, Jewel-Osco, Luster Products, MacArthur Foundation, Navy Pier, Nielsen, NRG, Oak Street Health, Pepsico, Pillars Insurance, PNC Bank, Prince Charitable Trust, Rogers Auto Group, Rush Hospital, Senior Talk Radio, Starbucks, State of Illinois, Step North, Surfs Up Restaurant, T-Mobile, The Chicago Citizen Newspaper, The Chicago Crusader, The Circle Foundation, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, UChicago Medicine, UIC’s Urban Health Program, United Airlines, Veteran’s Affairs, Walmart, Wines of South Africa and WVON Radio.

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